On Tuesday, May 30, emergency crews in West Maui rescued three people off of Kahekili Beach Park after strong gusty winds quickly swept them far offshore.
Firefighters and ocean safety lifeguards received the call at 12:17 p.m. that two paddle boarders were waving for help about a quarter-mile offshore and were likely having difficulty getting back to the beach.
Lifeguards on a rescue watercraft located four people about a mile off Kahekili Beach Park and brought three visitors and a beach kiosk employee safely back to shore at around 12:45 p.m.
A male and female couple in their late 30`s visiting from California had been standup paddle boarding near shore at the beach park, but soon found themselves getting blown out to sea by brisk 30-40 mph tradewinds as they drifted farther offshore.
A male friend on the beach saw them waving for help and went out on a boogie board to try to help them, reaching the couple as lifeguards arrived. A male employee from the beach rental kiosk had seen the couple waving for help and also went out to assist them.
By the time lifeguards reached the paddleboards and fourth person, who was the rental kiosk employee, they were about 2 miles offshore. Lifeguards were able to help the employee recover two paddleboards and a boogie board, but were unsuccessful in locating the third board, a black and red Hobie Aqua Glider paddleboard.
Firefighters from Lahaina and lifeguards from Hanakaoo Beach Park in Kaanapali responded to the rescue.